Monday, April 28, 2008

What Economics can do for you

Being an economist from 1968 at the LSE, I KNOW that economics is actually the magic answer of " 42" - the answer to everything.
People think of economics in terms of money, but in reality, the medium of exchange can be lots of different things, only one of which is money.
So it was without surprise that I read today of a second FTSE 100 company decamping to Ireland.
The cost is tiny compared to the cost of staying and paying this government's taxes.
The Tories, when they get in, will have a big problem sorting this mess out, but they could start by making a flat rate tax - very appealing.
I've lived long enough to have seen three changes of power from Labour to Tory - and hope shortly to see a fourth.
After WW2, the whole country was so exhausted and bankrupt, that, to be fair, nothing would have worked. It was only after the Tories came back in in 1951 that things began, very slowly to pick up - and that because Keynes killed himself getting the Americans to help out.
The 60s had Wilson and his white heat of technology - only he cancelled TSR2 and Blue Streak and Tony Benn felt companies should be made to pay for their excessive profits - even though they were non-existent. Heath came in - regretfully he had little idea about economics, and Barber, his Chancellor, even less.
But in the 15 years from Wilson's first government to Callaghan's last in 1979, Labour dominated the economic thinking.
So by 1979 everyone was generally agreed that the UK was finished. Mrs.T saved us, and she and Major left such an excellent economic legacy that it has taken 11 years for this present Labour lot to squander it.
We will have the same effect again - Labour have ruined it, Tories will slowly sort it.
And all because Labour always try to dictate the market.
You can't.
The market will always win.
As I always say, London gets fed and watered every day.
And noone tells anyone how to do it. But economics makes it work.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Just thought you might like to see where our boys - and Prince Harry - are fighting.
Oh, and just in case you missed it, the announcement of better terms for injured soldiers just happens to have been put out before the May elections.
There is nothing this pathetic, cynical and discredited government will not do to try to keep in power, including climbing over our injured soldiers.
Shame on them.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

S&M an Last Man Standing

Chris Dillow has an interesting post here on his move to Rutland.
But if you read Wiki on Nietzsche, it has a telling line: "This 'Ubermensch' may be contrasted to a weak-willed individual, one who is tired of life, takes no risks, seeks only comfort and security: the Last Man. The last man would be the product of socialism, democracy and other egalitarian belief systems.[1]"
And further: "Nietzsche saw that nothing great is possible for the Last Man, and it is Nietzsche's contention that Western civilization (Europe) is moving in the direction of the last man, an apathetic creature, who has no great passion or commitment, who is unable to dream, who merely earns his living and keeps warm."
Now I know I'm on the right, but this looks awfully awfully like Broon the Gloom, don't you think?

Mr. Swann, Ms. Bird & Mr. Cobb

You may not believe what I am about to write, but I promise you it's true.
In our park we have a nesting couple of swans, and the cob is seriously protective.
The other day another cob appeared on the scene and our daddy swan gave it a right doing.
Bloodied and somewhat confused, the poor thing staggered onto the main road, where it was picked up by a Mr. Swann. A car driving past stopped, and in it was Jackie Bird, a well known Scottish TV presenter.
Between them, they took it down to Hessilhead, where a Mr. Cobb cared for it.


Been in London for a few days which always takes forever to achieve anything.
The highpoint was a trip along the Regents and the Grand Union Canal on Thursday afternoon with the " Jason"- decidedly pleasant if a touch chilly, even in the sunshine. Lunch on another narrow boat in Little Venice was delightfully eccentric.
Catching up with the post on my return, I chanced across a magazine from The Alliance Trust of Dundee, which was talking about a Trust it invests in called Charter Trust & Agency.
Founded in 1907, there was a list of founding shareholders.
They are a fascinating mob - a count, a baron, Jesse Watson from Edinburgh ( married woman & clearly seriously wealthy), Barrister, butcher, the list goes on.
But the most interesting entries are side by side. John Anderson, reverend, from Loughborough, has 6 shares, and beside it Marie Burel, from Neuilly, France has an interest in these as well. Her profession is described as " Madam"
Now please note this is not Madame as in French married woman, it is Madam, as in a person who runs brothels.
Either she gave the rev. the shares for his good works, or he gave them to her in payment.
Or they bought them together.
In any event, I feel we were more honest about relationships then than we are now. They might have been hidden from gaze more, but people took responsibility for their actions. Nowadays we have an extremely expensive agency which does a very bad job of tracking down errant fathers. Then, the father made provision.
In my own family, coming from the wrong side of the blanket, the first of our line was educated and supported as was his serving maid mother by the 63 year old Lord who fathered him.
It's what was considered right & proper.
Now, everyone just tries to escape the consequences of their actions.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

True love

The step-granny was over for lunch today, and much of the talk turned to the war years, when she was a child in Goa.
Her father, in charge of Burma Oil there, was also the Honorary British Consul. There were apparently many whispered conversations on the veranda of an evening as messages were decoded, then the replies coded and sent back.
As a child, the step-granny noticed one day that there were two German ships and one Japanese in the bay. She was shortly to go into the hills for the hot season, and thought no more about it until her return a couple of months later - when the ships were all sitting with just the tops of their masts showing. She was told they had scuttled themselves.
Many years later she discovered that the Calcutta equivalent of Dad's Army had come down from the north, donned goggles and flippers, pushed out explosives on little rafts, and blown chunks out of all three ships simultaneously.Bear in mind these where all elderly men and probably had to swim a couple of miles in each direction. We Brits are best when improvising and making do, and being amateur.
One day the Honorary Consul was visited by an attractive lady who asked if he could find out if her husband was dead or alive. He had been captured at the fall of Singapore, and she had had no word for over three years. In the bay were a Swedish and a Japanese ship that were exchanging prisoners. She had heard, from her post in Madras hundreds of miles away, that this exchange was to take place, and she wondered if the British being exchanged might have some word of her husband.
The HC told her to come back the next day, which she duly did.
She was told that he was not on the ship, but that one of the men on board knew her husband, knew he was alive, and thought he might yet be exchanged.
" Thank you" said the Lady " This is the 40th. exchange I have come to see, and the first word I've had."
" How marvellous " said the HC ." What devotion!"
The lady smiled.
" Not at all. When you truly love, nothing else means anything."

Two Swans in the Park

" Morning dear. Did you sleep well?"
" Sleep well? How dare you! How could I sleep well with 6 great hard hulking lumps under me! This is all your fault - that's the last time I let you come anywhere near me."
" Now dear, you know you're only just saying that - you don't mean it."
" Don't mean it? I tell you, when this lot hatch I'm off. No more of this producing eggs and sitting on them for months. And what do you get at the end? No bloody gratitude, I can tell you. And I'll have lost my attraction for you and you'll be off with that younger swan from the other side of the pond."
Some weeks go by.
" Morning dear, did you sleep well?"
" Sleep well? You must be joking. It's all very well for you Mrs., you just had to sit there to hatch them, I've had them under me jiggling about for days now whilst you float around with your head gracefully tucked under your wing."
"Aw but they're sweet, and follow me around all day cheeping."
" .. And keeping me awake during the day too! I can tell you, the minute their feathers start to go white I'm off."
So you see, whether you're a cob or a pen, raising babies is no fun. Which is pretty much the same for humans.
Once they turn about 25 it's not so bad.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Making Friends

S&M has a piece from a few days ago that I missed in connection with Longevity, Success & Friendship.
In essence, the more successful you are the longer you tend to live.
But as the post says, people who are Oscar-winning scriptwriters tend to die younger than mere nominees.
His theory is - I think - something we should all aspire to.
Because you are successful you tend to have people gravitate towards you and become friends.
But as an Oscar-winning scriptwriter, because writing is essentially a solitary pursuit, you tend to lose friends. The reason is the more successful you are in this department the more you work and the less you see friends - or make them.
So we should work less and make more friends - you know it makes sense.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Labour's lack of ANY ideas

Iain Dale has a fine piece on today's First Minister's Questions ( in case you don't know this is the weekly occasion in Holyrood when Alex Salmond swats the Labourites like flies, and purrs to the Tories - if he can get them on board he's cracked it).
In essence, Wee Wendy IS the Leader of the Scottish Opposition, and has 3 questions.
Except... today she could only come up with two.
Shows just how devoid of ideas Labour really is.


Regretfully, I have no blood-Aunts still alive. I still have a couple of the courtesy Aunts that as a little boy were friends of my mother, and, as I think we all were, was encouraged to call "Auntie".
All of them - real and courtesy - were, in my memory, eccentric. They had all had good wars ( I always thought they had the time of their lives then) and much of their conversation in the 50s and early 60s still reflected that.
One always referred to her "target for tonight" ( which I now know was usually a good looking chap), whilst another would ask of young people " Would you be young always if you could choose?" and then burst into uncontrollable laughter. I think this is because they loved being a bit older and hence free from supervision.
The one I never understood was " Many are called ( Scottish for cold) but few are frozen". This is presumably a bastardisation of " Many are called but few are chosen". I now think this referred to her many "beaus" and the very few she turned down.
My musings today were prompted by a story about a lady assaulting a police officer. She had punched and kicked him and the poor young man " sustained injuries" - goes to show how pathetic our police are nowadays. In the old days the cuffs would have been on before you could blink.
Anyway, two of my blood aunts had gone to a fishmongers to get dressed crab for their dinner. Unfortunately it was not ready so they repaired to the pub next door - and stayed there until closing time at 2:30. They still had closing time in the 50s.
When they came out, they weaved into the fish-shop, collected the crab, and started to wander home. The crab was on plates and was permanently in peril of landing face down on the pavement.
The village Bobby met them half-way up the street.
" Afternoon Mrs. Marshall - can I just help you with those plates?"
My Aunt drew herself up to her full height.
" Young man, I am perfectly capable of placing these plates precisely where I wish!"
" Yes I'm sure you are, but I just wanted to help." Whereupon the other Aunt chimed in.." And I can too!" grabbed one of the plates and deposited it perfectly on top of the policeman's helmet.
Which was fine until it fell off, all down his uniform, and he bent down to survey the damage.
Whereupon Aunt 1 deposited the second plate upside down on the back of his neck.
At the subsequent trial the Magistrates were so unable to control their hysterics that the case was adjourned sine die.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Macca long before Mucca

I used to shoot down on the Mull of Kintyre, very close to where Paul McCartney still has his Highland Estate.
When he and his extended family first moved there, one of the local farmers ( nearest the big hoose) decided it was only polite and neighbourly to ask, at the least, if he and his family would like to drop in for tea one day.
Much to Willie's astonishment, Macca said they would love to - which naturally set the cat amongst the pigeons as far as Willie's wife was concerned.
There was much baking and cleaning and general sprucing up.
The great day dawned and the McCartney family descended on the farmhouse for tea.
Needless to say it was excellent, and the two families got on really well. After tea all the children all went into the snug to watch the television.
Willie's wife had always been a great fan, and mentioned several of the gigs she had been to.
" Aw see that Yesterday song - Ah just melt when you sing that."
There was an upright piano in the corner.
" Would you like me to sing it for you?" says Sir P ( only he was just Paul then) as he sat down at the piano.
He opened the lid and struck the first couple of chords and that liquid voice gave out with "Yesterdaaay - all my troubles.." and that was as far as he got.
One of his daughters ( I have always imagined it was Stella) charged back into the room.
" Dad - for goodness sake stop that - we're trying to watch Startrek."
" Oh sorry darling." End of concert.
True story.
Nice man.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Overheard in a London Cab

" Yu dan frum the Norf then?"
" Yes"
" You don't sand like it."
" No I moved there over 40 years ago."
" Oh, right "- pause-" So did you marry a Scots Lassie then?"
" Yes - it'll be 40 years next month."
" Oh, yer broke 6 mirrors then didja?HAR HAR HAR"
I think it's to do with 7 years bad luck for breaking a mirror.

The Last Temptation of Chris

Stumbling and Mumbling has a very good "thought for the day" as he prepares to quit London.
I've always maintained that freedom was always an expression of will. If you want to earn squillions, you pretty much have to be in London to pay for the cars, the schooling, the big house etc etc. You need - what - £250,000 a year. But if you are prepared to forego much of this, perhaps you need as little as £20,000 pa.
Or much less if you really want to.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Black Watch

Went to see this play which was commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland and has been a huge success.
If it comes near you, you must see it. It is based on the Black Watch Regiment's experiences.
Most of the critics have mentioned it's antiwar, anti-establishment credentials, but in reality, it's message is much more powerful.
It's the politicians that have destroyed what the Army once had. It's not meant for sitting in barracks, doing nothing, sitting ducks for snipers and mortars and suicide bombers.
You would think they had learned that a static war was un-winable nearly 100 years ago. The Army needs to move and have proper intelligence, not be a political football.
The powers that be talk of a drop in recruiting. No wonder. The troops can't and don't believe in what they are doing.
Contrary to popular belief, our Army is made up of people who want to be in it and who are still the best fighting force in the world.
Unlike our snivelling politicians, with no knowledge of what soldiering means,no principles and a cynical disregard for courage and sacrifice.
In the end,as the actors say: " I fight for my regiment" " I fight for my platoon" " I fight for my section" " I fight for my mates".
They don't fight for Britain,nor for Scotland, and certainly NOT for this Government.
There was much talk during the play of " The Golden Thread" that ran through all the regiments at one time, being fathers, grandfathers, uncle and so on who served. As with so much else, this Government has wantonly destroyed that - and put nothing of value in its place.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things I didn't know

I found out from reading a book called "The Secret Orchard of Roger Ackerley" by Diana Petre that until the age of majority was reduce from 21 to 18, illegitimate children legally reached their majority at 18.
This means they were able to vote, incur debts and, probably most importantly, not be prevented from marriage or running away.
The book itself is a fascinating account of a second family maintained by a man from 1910 through to his death in 1929.
What was even more interesting to me was that many of the characters in the book are known to me, through the fruit business of Elders & Fyffe , and then through the friends of the mistress( Muriel)/second family and her record in both World Wars.
I can't help but think many men would happily maintain such a double life. My own family, for instance, is convinced I have a second family in Luton Airport. That's the airport, not the town.
I don't think that's quite what would be wanted.

Iain Dale's Audi

Iain has been singing the praises of his new Audi with all it's jaw-dropping performance.
But here's a real advert for a real car:
" 0-100kmph in 21 seconds! Wind down windows! 25hp engine! Eco-friendly manufacture of paper,plastic & wood!"
By now I'm sure you've guessed this was for the latest Trabant some years ago.
It's delightful that the East German's thought it necessary to advertise wind down windows.I think this was as opposed to sliding ones.
In Hungary I read a translated advert for a bus trip - " Language speaking hostesses"
At least you don't have to know sign-language to get the message.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The meaning of REAL happiness

The youngest Ms. Lear occasionally sends me articles which would appear to validate her idea that money grows on trees - and certainly isn't meant to be other than spent.

So I was particularly pleased with this which dropped in today.

Happiness is - well, happiness, and is not connected with very much apart from feeling happy because you are doing something.

So stop worrying about the credit crunch and where the next meal is coming from and do something that makes you happy.

It's certainly worked for her over the years.

Local Action Group Medias

The main reason for my presence here in Romania this time was for the LAG meeting.
Progress is painfully slow, but I was pleased to hear from another association ( not a LAG) who came as observers, that they thought we were doing very well in 9 months, as it took them 8 years to become properly functional with all members pulling their weight.
Because it's election time, every village and town in the area is a hive of activity, with ditches being cleaned out, roads tarmaced, new playgrounds being constructed with proper benches, and a host of formal and informal lunches, dinners, drinks and promises for individual electors.
I read quite a nice story on Iain Dale's blog - a comment from an elector who was quite prepared to have female politicians sleep with him, but his vote would depend on the continuance of said sexual services. I can only say I hope the poor girls get a day off occasionally.
Mind you, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this wasn't on offer in Romania. Electioneering is still very much in the " It's a bribe, but, objectively, it's a bloody good bribe" being the most cogent argument in all circumstances.
But to return to the LAG. The real problem here is that it is very hard for people to believe that a group of people are working for the good of the whole community. They are only used to personal enrichment, so it is strange to them that we are saying in effect " put a small amount in and we will get you lots - but for the community, not the individual".
We have secured some funding from the World Bank which will enable us to get more people into our LAG, but also fund it properly for about 6 months. Our hope is that by then, some results will have filtered through, and be visible to all concerned. Simply the training on offer for free is worth while ( for example not one of the Mayors can do his own emails - but at least two of them have told me thay must learn)
The major bone of contention yesterday was a misunderstanding. Within the World Bank budget is a figure of USD2000 to bring in more members. One of our group said he thought it was bad that new members were going to be recompensed for attending meetings, and he would like recompensed as well.
It was pointed out to him that noone was going to be recompensed for attending, but merely to enable the LAG manager to visit other nearby areas and make his pitch. He immediately stated that he would not come again unless he was recompensed. It was pointed out to him that as he lived only about 200 yards from where the meetings invariably took place, he had no cost in actually getting there, and there were always snacks, cakes, coffee, and a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available once he got there.
" Ah, so you are saying this is our payment? Well, that is OK then" - and everyone was delighted that they were being "paid" to attend, as it meant they felt both worthy and rewarded.
If only loyalty could always be bought so cheaply.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A lovely day

Having escaped from Harris, then Glasgow and finally Budapest, I got back to Sighisoara this morning.
The sun was shining, the sky was a cornflower blue, and the temperature at mid-day was 23 C.
As I walked towards the Bank, a little old lady held out two small bunches of violets to me. She had a basket with about 10 bunches in all.
It transpired each bunch was the equivalent of 9p. So I gave her the equivalnet of GBP1 and took the lot.
I gave out three bunches in the Bank. I gave out 3 bunches at the lovely lawyer's. I gave two to Alin for his wife. I kept the last two and gave them to the lady who makes the most delicious "fornetti" which I buy every morning and which are like mini-sausagerolls, but filled with cheese or apple or apricots and so on, and which come in handy around 11am. She gave me a free bag this morning in exchange.
The main job this morning was trying to buy a new car. The car hire business is doing quite well; we have three bookings at the end of April and only two cars. We also have an arrangement with one of the car hire companies to use our cars when they are full, and it looks as if the summer is going to be really busy.
To cut a long story short, for Eur 200 per month we can have a brand new Logan, six years absolute warranty, airbags, aircon the lot, and in theory we therefore only need to rent it about 7 or 8 days per month on average over the year for it to pay for itself.
It's quite strange, my idea when I came here was all to do with property,houses and so on, and by accident I've fallen into a car renting business.
I think it's on the principle that if there's a gold strike, be the man who sells the picks and shovels.

Monday, April 07, 2008

China TV

I was watching China TV in Budapest (don't ask) when the reports on the Olympic flame in London came on.
Now I had seen the BBC footage yesterday. I can1t say I recognised any of it. Most of the footage was taken from the Chintown area, lots of happy smiling people and nary a protester in sight.
Huge triumph as Broon the Gloom didn't touch the torch. ( How pathetic a man is he that he has to make a big thing out of this?)
As they used to say in exams, compare and contrast with Mrs. T. If she didn't think it was a good idea she would have shouted it from the rooftops.
There's a nice story from a Commonwealth Conference where she was alone in opposing sanctions on South Africa, as she was working behind the scenes to get Mandela freed.
When asked how it felt to be th lone diesnting voice with 48 other countries ranged aganst her, her reply was " I'm sorrythat they are in the wrong" Lets have a bit more belief and conviction and principle. If Britain isn't ready for the truth now it never will be.
It's lasted her more than 18 years beyond her leaving office.

Dizzy and Berlusconis Quote

" Of course the left love the poor. They love them so much that every time they get into power they make many more of them"
Well spotted Dizzy, and too true Silvio.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Our society

I have long been an admirer of Isaac Bashevis Singer. His later books are less good than his earlier work, but he retains an imagination and an ability to evoke " the old country" better than most of the younger generation.
I am always taken with his quotations from the Mishna, the Talmud or Gemara. These may have been meant for a nomadic tribe a couple of thousand years ago, but many of the sayings remain true.
The one I most recently took to was:
"Those who pity the wicked are cruel to the just"
Isn't this exactly what's wrong with our society? We bend over backwards to be nice to thieves, rapists, murderers, illegal immigrants and many more. Who pays for this, both physically and in cash? Why, we, the just, do. Ok we may not necessarily be "Just" in the OT sense, but we are certainly Mr. and Mrs. Average who pays their taxes and abides by the rules.
It's a truism, but I regret to say that the Government finds it easy to prey on law-abiding people.

Bulgar hides in Funeral Parlour

That was the headline I read the other day in a newspaper.
I know I'm getting on a bit, and my eyes have been pretty poor since I was 12, and sometimes I just don't get the words right.
I had visions of a Bulgarian in national costume pretending to be dead, whilst the Immigration services searched for him.
Unfortunately, when I read the article, it was actually a BURGLAR.
And they spotted him in the coffin because he was wearing work clothes.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Lewis Chessmen

Just having spent a few days on Harris ( in case you think you might go there, don't - unless you really like walking, and then only on roads or beaches as the hills are liable to swallow you in the bogs) I spent a while looking at the remains of the Lewis Chessmen.
To be more exact, the house where we were staying had a set laid out.
I'm not sure they are exact replicas, but a couple of the pieces certainly looked as if they were taken from the life of the relevant era.
The Queens were clutching drinking horns, showing an early predilection for the alcoholism commonly associated with the Outer Isles.With a hand up to their cheeks, and very worried expressions on their faces, they looked dead ringers for matrons from Tonbridge Wells.
The Kings, on the other hand, were looking extremely grumpy, clutching swords across their knees in an attempt to ward off the next potential assassin. Their raping and pillaging days were clearly over, which is why they looked grumpy I imagine. They probably had to keep awake in case they were set on in the night, I suppose they couldn't even have a decent drink either.
So my view would be they deserved each other, these Kings and Queens.
At least, if I lived out there, I would definitely be both grumpy and an alcoholic.


From BA's in-flight magazine:
" Fast not furious! Check-in at BA's new T5 shouldn't take more than 5 minutes!"
" Life is a carousel! We can handle over 12,000 bags an hour with our super-sophisticated software!"
" Over 90% of transit passengers can connect through T5"
Actually, I don't blame Naomi Campbell.


That was the ehadline regarding Max Moseley and 5 prostitutes and nazi uniforms.
I'm not so sure.
What would you say constitutes an orgy? I think 5 women and 1 man is a bit light on the orgiastic stakes. Myself I would insist on a minimum of 10 participants of whom at least 2 must be male.
Now you may think this sexist. After all, there's nothing to stop an all-male or all-female orgy I suppose, but having done Latin as a child, my view of orgies has always been somewhat coloured by images of people lounging around on sofas with very few clothes on, groping each other. And there were always men & women involved.
I think when only one man is involved I would invoke the comment of Lord Lambton many years ago, when caught in bed with a mere two prostitutes.
" I think the ordinary man in the street would only have two words to say: Lucky bugger"
He may have tried that with them too for all I know.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


What's your idea of decadence? Is it sipping champagne from a ladies slipper? Having naked young women peel you a grape?
Being a chap, I can only think that decadence involves nubile young ladies doing things for you ( in the spirit of peeling grapes, feeding you ortolan piece by piece and so on).
But what would a lady regard as decadent? I don't have a clue. I can only ever think of men "being" decadent. The girls are there to help him, not actually be decadent themselves.
Maybe it's a bit like the self-sacrifice thing. Some time ago, I postulated that there were no female equivalents in literature of Cyrano de Bergerac, who gave up everything so his love could have the dolt she wanted. I would happily stand to be corrected here, but please note I am NOT suggesting merely dying as an alternative.
The thought does strike me that it might be better to be the dolt.

Search for a Nancy

Actually I think it's called I'll do anything, but anyway, it's for the new Oliver!
Nancy, of course, is now a non-pc word for homosexual man ( please note its from HOMOS as in the same ( Greek) as opposed to Latin HOMO = man). Having Graham Norton involved seems a bit voracious but there you are.
The point is that Kevin Spacey ( whose own sexuality would appear a touch light in the Timberlands, but who knows?) has spoken out about a " thirteen week promotion for musicals".
And he's quite right. Why should the musicals, the opera etc etc get these free adverts when straight theatre ( I'm getting in a bit deep here) doesn't get a mention? Plays are only represented in something like 20% of West End London theatres at the moment, and certainly none that could be called " experimental" or " new".
I've said it before here, unless we make an effort to get away from what can only be called the dumbed-down performances of musicals, within a generation there will be no real theatre, and only pathetic celebrities from East Enders as our actors.
Larry, John and Nigel must be turning in their graves.